OpenX Ad Exchange Demand Policies

Effective: March 5, 2020


OpenX prides itself on quality.  This characteristic is the foundation for our demand policies, outlined below, which provide guidance to our advertising partners as to our expectations of the standards we expect in the ads that we help deliver to our publishers.  

If you have any questions about any of the sections below, or any other question about your advertising on the OpenX Ad Exchange, please contact your Account Manager.

Permitted vs. Prohibited Creatives

Permitted Creatives

The OpenX Ad Exchange welcomes a wide variety of ads, including display, mobile and video, on a variety of platforms.

Ads must respect the requirements of the publisher (e.g., auto play, sound on/off, ad duration) as communicated in the bid request.

Before an initial campaign delivery, you are required to scan your creatives and associated landing pages for malware and other related threats using an approved third party service (e.g., The Media Trust, GeoEdge, Confiant, or AdLightning).

Prohibited Creatives

There are certain types of ads that we do not permit because they create an unwelcome or deceptive environment for the user.  For example, you may not send us ads that:

  • Automatically redirect the user to a new page or app;
  • Automatically refresh;
  • Contain annoying or distracting images, or excessive animation;
  • Contain audio in a display ad that is triggered by anything other than a click (such as auto-play or rollover-initiated audio); 
  • Employ phishing techniques or seek to trick the user into providing sensitive information by misrepresenting the identity of the advertiser;
  • Expand beyond their original size;
  • Initiate a download;
  • Install spyware, trojans, viruses or other malware;
  • Mimic system errors or messages; and/or
  • Pop-up upon banner open or upon page exit.

Permitted Domains

Better Ads Standards

OpenX will only deliver advertisements to domains that are in compliance with the Better Ads Standards developed by the Coalition for Better Ads. For more information, see

Permitted vs. Prohibited Content

Brands can feature many types of content on the OpenX Ad Exchange appealing to every demographic and geography.  Some types of content are prohibited throughout the exchange and others (including ads in the categories listed below) may be restricted (and or illegal) only in certain territories. Please confirm in writing with your account executive before placing ads in certain territories and discuss appropriate territorial restrictions with your AE.  In certain situations, we may request to see the creative and you will need prior written approval before initiating a campaign. Also, see Content Prohibited for Minors and Restricted Content for further details on additional restrictions that may be required for such ads.

Prohibited Content

OpenX will not accept ads that:

  • Are misleading or contain content that is not reflective of what the user will find on the clickthrough URL;
  • Promote hacking, cracking, or warez;
  • Contain profanity;
  • Promote or contain libel or fraud;
  • Incite hatred of any race, religion, creed, class or ethnic group, or of any individual or group;
  • Infringe intellectual property rights;
  • Promote P2P file-sharing, torrent, or anything that facilitates or promotes copyright infringement;
  • Sell or promote tobacco or tobacco products;
  • Sell or promote electronic cigarettes or vaping devices;
  • Sell or promote illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, or ways to pass a drug test;
  • Contain nudity or suggestive content or images;
  • Promote adult products, including sex toys and sexual enhancers;
  • Promote adult-themed dating, escort services, “mail-order brides,” or similar services
  • Promote fireworks;
  • Sell or promote firearms, ammunition, bombs or other weapons, or related design materials, including handgun safety certificates and BB guns;
  • Describe, depict, or glorify pain, suffering, torture, violence or death of or against humans or animals; 
  • Promote any other products, services, or content that are illegal, promote harmful activity, or infringe on the rights of others. This includes sites that provide “how-to” information on bomb-making, lock-picking, and similar topics;
  • Violate any applicable law, regulation, governmental rule or court order or which contain content that is otherwise harmful or illegal.

Content Prohibited for Minors

For ads or properties that are directed to minors under the age of 18, in addition to the prohibitions listed above, you cannot use the OpenX Ad Exchange for ads that promote products that are generally prohibited to minors, such as, for example, alcohol, gambling, lotteries.

Restricted Content

While content may be allowed in certain territories, it may be subject to further restrictions.  For instance, political ads are subject to a number of restrictions and standards that you are required to observe, including, but not limited to, local law requirements and the DAA’s Self-Regulatory Principles on Political Advertising.  

Please check with your account executive before placing any ads that have local restrictions.                                                                                                                                                                    

Recommended vs. Prohibited Practices

  • You may only purchase inventory for use directly by an advertiser (or direct agent of an advertiser) with which you have a direct relationship. 
  • Reselling, distributing or otherwise sub-syndicating inventory to another indirect sales channel (e.g., another ad network or trading desk) is prohibited.
  • You may create targeting profiles or segments based on the ads you show to users and user interaction with those ads as long as this is fully disclosed in your privacy policy and you follow all your legal, self-regulatory and contractual obligations and otherwise are in compliance with these policies.  
    • You may not create targeting profiles or segments based on: (a) a particular publisher or digital property a user has visited; (b) the OpenX Ad Exchange category(ies) that apply to the inventory, app, website or publisher; (c) the content on the web page, app or website; or (d) the general interest area(s) covered by the publisher. 
  • You will comply with the applicable Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Self-Regulatory Principles published at and, as applicable, with the IAB Europe EU Framework for Online Behavioural Advertising and the EASA Best Practice Recommendation on Online Behavioral Advertising, which are administered by the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance and published at
  • When syncing cookies with OpenX, you will not add or drop any 3rd party pixels without the express written approval of OpenX, email sufficing. If consent is given, it will be limited to pixels placed by data management platforms or other approved data providers.
  • You agree that your ads and your use and transfer of any data will comply with all applicable laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Interaction with Other OpenX Agreements and Policies

Data Transfers:

  • You agree to apply the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Principles issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, located at (“Privacy Shield Principles”) to all data that OpenX transfers to you that originates from the European Economic Area or Switzerland when that information meets the definition of “personal data” in the Privacy Shield Principles (“EEA Data”). 
  • You agree to (a) use EEA Data only for purposes consistent with the OpenX Privacy Policy (if you receive EEA Data as a “controller” as defined by the Privacy Shield Principles) or only for purposes specified by OpenX (if you receive EEA Data as a “processor” as defined by the Privacy Shield Principles); (b) notify OpenX upon your determination that you can no longer apply the Privacy Shield Principles to EEA Data; and (c) upon such determination, cease use of EEA Data or take other reasonable and appropriate steps to apply the Privacy Shield Principles to EEA Data.


At OpenX’s sole discretion, OpenX may assess a surcharge for any violation of these policies and/or immediately terminate your access to the Ad Exchange (in addition to any other legal or contractual remedies). If OpenX assesses a surcharge, we will use our reasonable discretion to set the amount of the charge, taking into account the nature of the violation, the additional work and expense OpenX incurred in dealing with the violation, and the harm done to the OpenX Ad Exchange, OpenX’s reputation and/or to other OpenX clients.